ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Apr
19

Bread Should Be Baked By the Baker!

"Sixty-Eight Million Dollars Were Given for Colleges Last Year: – if  the Mania for College Education Continues We May Soon Expect the Above State of Affairs" American and Western European visitors to Georgia are fascinated by the fact that middle-aged Georgian taxi drivers often brandish a couple of engineering degrees, while young hotel receptionists and shop assistants frequently come with law, business and international relations education. Having spent a couple of days in Tbilisi, visitors may come to imagine that Georgia is so abundant in huma...
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Florian Biermann
Ok, the situation is dire, but what do you expect in a country with $4,000 per capita income? One should compare the situation in ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 2:02 PM
Simon Appleby
One issue not discussed in the issue of military conscription. Suspended midway through last year, it was reinstated in Novemberht... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 2:02 PM
Eric Livny
Simon, thanks for your comment. First, I could not agree more. We actually do mention the current system of military conscription ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 3:03 PM
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Mar
17

Wood: Still the Most Affordable Fuel Option for Rural Households?

  Despite the fast pace of installing gas infrastructure throughout the country, wood remains a major household fuel in Georgia. According to Georgia’s energy balance1, in 2014, Georgian households consumed 19,131 Terajoules2 of bio fuel and waste (mainly wood). The share of wood in total energy consumed by households was 38%. Chart 1. Wood satisfies almost 40% of households’ demand on energy in Georgia According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, in 2014, the total volume of logging in was 670,241 cubic meters of wood/timber. In additio...
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Mar
04

Georgia's New European Modus Operandi

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness … - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities A CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD? The above quote seems to fit the state of affairs in the European Union fairly well, as the EU’s crisis is continuing, getting deeper, and engulfing more actors than when it started. To name a few well-known events and stats: Greece probably had the first ...
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Eric Livny
It is convenient to blame the EU for the current rise of nationalism in Europe and whatnot. Nationalism and religious fanaticism a... Read More
Monday, 06 March 2017 9:09 AM
Florian Biermann
Eric:There was always populism everywhere, even in ancient Rome (Cato said: Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam). What is new... Read More
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 10:10 AM
Eric Livny
Nothing will stop people from moving from (extremely) high pressure to (extremely) low pressure areas. Osmosis-style, through bord... Read More
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 11:11 AM
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Feb
27

Make Kutaisi Great Again!

Have you ever heard about a mysterious law that predicts the size of a city? If you tell me the population of the largest city in a country, I can tell you the size of the second and third biggest cities. In 1949, George Zipf came up with the simple theory called the rank-size rule, or “Zipf 's law.” Applied to the size of cities, this law says that the second city and following smaller cities should represent a proportion of the largest city. For example, if the largest city in a country is populated with one million citizens, according to the law, the ...
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Florian Biermann
Interesting article. Maybe the 30% of Kutaisis population that left the city were the members of the Kutaisi Clan.
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 8:08 AM
Simon Appleby
London until the 1950s was not just the capital of England (or the United Kingdom). It was the capital of the British Empire. So m... Read More
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 12:12 PM
Ia Katsia
Thank you, Florian for your comment. There is of course no official statistics about affiliation of migrants from Kutaisi. It cou... Read More
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 3:03 PM
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Feb
25

Law Can’t Buy Me Love… To The National Currency

  Beginning in July 2017, if an entrepreneur offers and/or advertises a property and/or service for sale in the territory of Georgia, the price of the property/service shall be expressed solely in GEL. According to the bill, failure to abide by the new law when denominating the price will lead to a warning, while a repeated offense will lead to a penalty of 1000 GEL. Each subsequent offense will be subject to a penalty of 5000 GEL. BACKGROUND INFORMATION This law is one of a few changes which will take place in support of a de-dollarization plan imp...
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Eric Livny
A great article with a great title. One small comment. The costs of construction can be in GEL or USD, but the financing of constr... Read More
Monday, 27 February 2017 12:12 PM
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Feb
20

Price and Prejudice on the Georgian Market for Cigarettes

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Yet we have a tax that could prevent hundreds of millions of premature deaths. It is time to use it more effectively. -Prabhat Jha It is a truth universally acknowledged, that cigarettes are bad for human health. Yet, whenever the government tries to regulate consumption of cigarettes by increasing their price, it gets a very mixed reaction from the public. Some people (mostly non-smokers) welcome these policies, while others accuse the government of ...
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